Facebook Reveals Reason For Widespread Service Outage

A screen grab showing the real-time status of Facebook service on Downdetector

A screen grab showing the real-time status of Facebook service on Downdetector

Facebook's stock fell almost 3% in early morning trading on Thursday as Wall Street reacted to the outage.

Downdetector.com, a crowd-sourcing site that tracks internet outages, showed a concentration of Facebook outages in the northeast as of Thursday morning.

After staying tight-lipped on the cause of the outage for almost 24 hours, Facebook early Thursday afternoon blamed it on a "server configuration change that triggered a cascading series of issues". "We've now resolved the issues and our systems are recovering", Facebook wrote from its official Twitter account on Thursday.

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Facebook first publicly addressed the issue Wednesday afternoon, acknowledging in a tweet that "some people are now having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps".

However, the latest Facebook service outage shows the issues that arise when attempting to consolidate a number of online services and apps together. The hashtag #FacebookDown and #InstagramDown were trending on Twitter for much of the day. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The news comes with regulators, investigators and elected officials in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world digging into the data sharing practices of Facebook. Amazon was reportedly allowed to see user contact information.

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The last time the social media network had an disruption this big was in 2008. when it had 150 million users, compared to its 2.3 billion monthly users today.

"It has already been reported that there are ongoing federal investigations, including by the Department of Justice", a Facebook spokesman told AFP. "We've provided public testimony, answered questions and pledged that we will continue to do so".

While Facebook said it has "resolved its issues", the update was sparse on details.

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